Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm Back, Baby!!

Well, hello there! Did you miss me? I've got big changes going on in my life right now: some good, some bad, and some very, very ugly. However, I am the eternal optimist, so let's focus on the positive. First of all, I got some pretty sweet new glasses. See, I had PRK laser eye surgery way back in 2006, but for some reason my eyes decided to progressively get worse even after the surgery. I finally admitted I couldn't see while driving and paid a visit to my eye doctor. While my vision isn't nearly as horrible as it was pre-laser eye surgery, I still have to wear glasses for long distance seeing and such. And, due to the laser eye surgery, my eyeballs are too flat to wear contacts which bummed me out hardcore. I wanted to get topaz colored contacts like the gorgeous vampires in the Twilight films, but alas, I'm not a candidate for contacts anymore. So, I decided to get glasses with topaz colored rhinestones on the sides. Close enough for me.

Secondly, I have a new, badass camera, courtesy an excellent recommendation from the one and only Bakerella. It's a Canon Digital Rebel XTI 10.1 megapixel. Or whatever the hell that means. It takes bitchin' photos, and I'm super stoked to use it. It is my new best friend. I love it like no other camera I've ever owned before. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I could have something so incredible to take photos with. I've been playing around with it for a few days now, and I'm still getting the hang of it. Today I decided to experiment with food photography, and am more than impressed with the results.

The first recipe I decided to try was pork tacos, aka carnitas. See, I am a realist who knows that Cinco de Mayo is coming up soon. I haven't really had any Mexican friends in the past to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with, so I didn't really celebrate it. Well, that's all changed, my friend. I have a friend at work who I plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo with, and I really want to impress them with a stellar dinner. What better day than Fat Tuesday to practice? I literally ate four GIANT servings of these babies, one right after the other (in between swigs of margaritas, naturally). Here's my recipe for Pulled Pork Tacos (aka Carnitas):


-2 lbs pork shoulder roast
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tbsp chopped garlic
-1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-1 can of chicken stock
-1 can of diced tomatoes (I used the garlic kind)
-1 can of chopped green chiles
-1 16oz jar of medium salsa

Instructions: The night before you want to have tacos, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Put the pork into a ziplock bag, then pour the mixture over it (I had to squish it around a little in order to coat all the sides of the meat with the mixture). Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. The next day, place pork in your crock pot with the can of chicken stock. Cook on high for about an hour, then reduce the heat to medium/low and allow roast to cook for an additional 4-6 hours. After that time, remove pork from crock pot, let it stand for about a half hour, then shred the pork using the two fork method (or if it's not too hot, you can use your fingers, but be careful). Place shredded pork into a heavy-bottomed skillet with the diced tomatoes, green chiles, salsa, and any remaining juices from the crock pot (you may want to add a bit more chicken stock to get it real juicy and tender). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to cook for about an hour. Once the juices absorb into the meat, it's ready to eat!! Serve on corn tortillas with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro and lime.

My thoughts: these were absolutely delicious!! And I couldn't ask for a better subject to photograph, I mean, hello! My mouth is watering just looking at them, and I'm not even hungry! Man, it feels so good to be back in the saddle again. I was having cooking withdrawals! I have a couple more recipes on deck that I can't wait to get started on. See you back here real soon!